The moderating role of psychosocial social capital in the relationship between children‘s socioeconomic status and subjective well-being : Evidence from Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan

Stefan KÜHNER (Presenter)

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


Empirical findings suggest that East Asian children in their middle years (aged 9-14) find themselves at the bottom of the international league table regarding their subjective well-being. In this study, we utilise the health assets approach to identify the moderating mechanisms of psychosocial social capital (PSC) in the relationship between children’s socioeconomic status (SES) and subjective well‐being in three East Asian societies, including South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, alongside Italy, UK, and Norway. Several sub-components of PSC, including family, school, and community sense of belonging (SB) and autonomy support (AS), as well as children’s peer relationships (PR), are hypothesised to constitute protective factors for children’s overall life satisfaction (OLS) as well as their scores on the multi-item Children‘s Worlds Subjective Well-Being Scale (CW-SWBS). We test explicitly whether family, school, and community SB and AS as well as children’s PR augment the subjective well-being of children after controlling for their SES and other socio-demographic characteristics and experiences in their daily lives. In doing so, we find empirical differences in the non-monetary safety net constituted through familial, school, community, and peer PSC across East Asian societies and their Western counterparts. By drawing on these differences, this study contributes to existing explanations of the intriguing puzzle of the Asian bias in children‘s subjective well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2022
EventHong Kong Sociological Association 23rd Annual Conference: Health and Wellbeing in (Post-) Pandemic Times - Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China
Duration: 3 Dec 20223 Dec 2022
Conference number: 23


ConferenceHong Kong Sociological Association 23rd Annual Conference
CityHong Kong
OtherAs an unprecedented public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has become the focal concern of sociologists around the world. Globally, there have been over six hundred million confirmed cases, including over six million of deaths. Over the past few years, we have experienced the tremendous impacts brought by the pandemic on various domains of life. Apart from infected and death cases, we have seen a surge of mental health issues, suicides, domestic violence, as well as plummeting economic growth and escalating unemployment and poverty rates. Whether to embrace the “new normal” by easing public health and social distancing measures is a contentious issue as much among world leaders as ordinary citizens. From a sociological perspective, most impacts brought by the pandemic are believed to be structural and long lasting. As not everyone has equal access to vaccines, personal protective equipment, healthcare and other resources, health and social inequalities are expected to be worsening. There are also concerns about the lack of affordable childcare and technological equipment for attending online classes during pandemic times, which would have lingering effects on education, digital, and social inequalities across generations.

Against this background, this conference aims to address the pressing issues of health and wellbeing in pandemic and post-pandemic times from a sociological perspective. It provides a platform for scholars, students, and other stakeholders to discuss the implications of the pandemic for health and social inequalities among other issues. On that basis, participants will explore practical and policy responses to enhance health and wellbeing in the (post-)pandemic condition.
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